Stuck in neutral (walking/running)


The above was for yesterday’s course.

Today: late start; weight 186 after breakfast.

Weights then running:

5 sets of 10, 1 set of 5 pull ups (hip hikes and rotator cuff) varied the grip
incline press: 10 x 135, 7 x 145, 9 x 140 (pushed myself a bit)
military press: 7 x 45, 8 x 45, 10 x 40 (standing dumbbells)
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110
pull down: 3 sets of 10 x 150 (double pulley machine)

Note: I did a super set with the military, rows, pull downs.

Then 1 mile in 11 minutes on the treadmill:
5K (25 laps, middle lane): 28:40. 9:04, 8:42 (17:47), 9:45 (27:33); I walked a few steps two different times on the last mile. I just didn’t have it; the last mile was feeling a bit like a race and I didn’t want that.

I had a good walk yesterday and the weights took a little out of me. Afterward: I cut the grass in the front yard.

By the way, we’ve gotten creamed by rain in June. This was the wettest June on record, and the second wettest month on record (September 1926 was 0.09 inches wetter).

illinoisweather (snapshot from the Illinois Climatology blog run by James Angel. )

I did a poor job of outlining Peoria County (where I live) but you can see that while we were not the wettest region in the state, we were above the state average. We’ve gotten water in the basement almost non-stop (on the order of perhaps 8-12 gallons a night, as measured by buckets and our new Shop-Vac wet vacuum).

And the yard is absurd; the weed trees grow back almost as fast as you chop them down. When you cut the grass, when you finished, the part of the yard you started with already needs to be cut again. (ok, that is an exaggeration… :-) )

Rain, plus ample periods of sun plus very fertile soil = lots of growth. And the rabbits are having a field day; on Monday I counted 5 in the yard at one time! I wish I could have trapped them and brought them to our yard.

July 1, 2015 Posted by | Illinois, Peoria, Peoria/local, running, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

What the heck is bigotry anyway?

Workout notes weights then swimming. I did weights first as the pool was full when I got to the Riverplex.

Weight: 186 before, 184.5 after.

pull ups: 4 sets of 10, then a 5’th after bench press
rotator cuff
bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 180, 3 x 180, 9 x 160
military: 10 x 45 dumbbell, 10 x 40 dumbbell, 8 x 45 dumbbell
rows: 3 sets of 10 with the lay down machine (60)

eyestrain: a woman was doing some light dead lifts; her leggings became transparent on the “down phase” (full grannies with a zig-zag underneath)

Swim: couldn’t stay with the lady on my left (red water bottle lady)
5 x 100 warm up
5 x 100 on 2:10 (slow)
5 x 100 alt fist/free on 2:10
5 x 25 fly, 25 free
5 x 25 back, 25 free
200 pull.

I tried to come up with a good logical definition for “bigotry” and really couldn’t.
I thought: well, this is not liking someone for what they are, but then it is ok to not like a practicing pedophile or kleptomaniac.
So, there has to be a “dislike in the absence of evil or harm”; but what about those who sincerely believe that, say, gay people bring down the wrath of some deity (absurd, I know; but some really are that superstitious).

If a reader has a good definition, I’d entertain it.

June 30, 2015 Posted by | social/political, spandex, swimming, weight training | | Leave a comment

Ready to head to Froggy Land (aka TCU)

I always enjoy mathematics conferences: I am about to head to another one. Yes, this time I am giving a talk.

So, I am all but packed (need to pack documents) and ready to go.

Workout notes
rotator cuff
pull ups: 10, 5, 10, 5, 10, 5, 5, 5 (55 total); varied the grip quite a bit.
bench: 10 x 135, 3 x 180, 3 x 180, 10 x 160 (note: by myself so I didn’t push my limits)
military: 2 sets of 10 x 45 dumbbell, 10 x 40 dumbbell

Track: 4 miles (middle lane)

14:31 worth of drills
12:56 1 quicker, 1 easy
24:59 (12:33/12:26) steady and intentional 52:28 total.

Not “fast” but, given where I am, respectable. I need to smooth out my form if I wish to walk a “fast” (read: sub 5:30) marathon this fall. My plan is to do one long walk on Sunday (20 miles or 5 hours), one “pace” workout (10-12 miles) during the week, and fill out the rest with easier walking, running, 5K races, swimming and lifting.

I know that 5:30 isn’t very fast but I haven’t done that since September 2009.

I went to the Midwest (A) All Star game at Dozer park; there were almost 5900 people there. It was a good time. After the fireworks show which ended the evening, I told a lady that I liked her “2012 NCAA Cross Country shirt”. Well her husband is with her and he is Mike DeWitt, a famous racewalking coach who helped out at Augie Hirt’s racewalking group a couple of times. Yes, he actually observed me walking and gave me some tips.

He is now the track coach for Illinois-Springfield and still does racewalking; I feel a couple of paid lessons coming on. No, I’ll never do the judged stuff again (right knee won’t straighten all the way) but I need to smooth out my technique if I am to have success in the longer walks (24 hour, 50 mile, 100 mile); I want to do better at FANS next year.

June 24, 2015 Posted by | Personal Issues, racewalking, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Steamboat 2015 photos and stories

Workout notes: swimming: 500 free, 10 x 50 fist/free on 1:10, 5 x (25 fly, 25 free, 25 back, 25 free), 300 side/free, 400 alternating pull/free.

Weights: rotator cuff,
pull ups (5 sets of 10; 4 prior to bench),
bp: 10 x 135, 2 x 180, 4 x 170, 7 x 155
military (dumbbell) 10 x 45, 7 x 45, 10 x 40
rows: 3 sets of 10, different machine than normal.

Blood donation: a complete bust; blood clotted; my vein is bruised and swollen. I need to wait a few more days after Steamboat.

Steamboat photos:


I ran with the lady in yellow for a mile or two; she then tucked in behind me at mile 7 and got me when I went to the side of the course to give T a high 5. Hey, when you are as slow as I am now, a few seconds is like adding a year or two to the age of a mountain (in a geological time scale)

Nipped at the line..though my chip time was a few seconds faster than hers. I checked. :-)

Resignation. I was happy that I didn’t have to walk and that I stayed more or less steady, but am a bit depressed my abilities have deteriorated so badly. Yes, the ultra cost me a few minutes. But hey, all of that cute spandex gave me eyestrain. :-)

My targets

I had thought about trying to catch her..she thought about her kick. Look to the right of the photos, way behind those cones.

I also chased the woman in the purple tights and her friend in the bright orange shorts. Those around those two are people doing the “2 mile” event which was designed to be accessible to those with special needs or physical handicaps.

My Building Steam group (Run to walk group) :

Vickie pacing Ellen who finished the 4 mile in 55 minutes, 5 minutes under goal.

Cathie pacing Katherine to a 51:41 finish; also well under goal.

Bradley (in the blue shirt) finishing in 50:31.

His wife Julie crushed her goal by running 48:13, but she was obscured by other runners; I could find no photo.


Jason. He beat me by 31 minutes (not an exaggeration) but..when we swim together; I eventually lap him. At least that was true last semester. Go figure. If he improves his form a bit, it won’t stay that way.

My department chair (Mat). He beat me by 9 minutes and then gave me a ride home.

June 23, 2015 Posted by | Friends, running, swimming, weight training | | Leave a comment

Past and present

Workout notes
lifting then running.

Lifting: pull ups (3 sets of 10, 2 sets of (5,5, different grips with no rest between)
rotator cuff
incline: 10 x 135, 5 x 150, 4 x 150
dumbbell military: 10 x 40 dumbbells, 10 x 45, 10 x 45 (felt ok)
rows: Hammer: 3 sets of 10 x 200
pull downs (regular machine) 3 sets of 10 x 160 traditional

run: 2 miles on the treadmill in 20:50, 2 miles on the track in 17:38 (4:24, 4:25, 4:23, 4:25) very even…sort of hard.
walked a lap or two with Barbara before heading home.



Another shot from the Severn River 10 miler in August, 1980. I ran 1:21 for 10 miles on a warm morning; in December of that year I ran a 3:33 marathon. Ah, to be young again. I was about 25 pounds heavier then than I am now.


I love to run in Bradley Park. But there is no situation so good that some idiot can’t ruin it: some jerk thinks that having a pit bull off of the leash is ok, and it attacked another leashed dog. And yes, the owner of the pit bull was nasty (what a surprise).

June 19, 2015 Posted by | running, weight training | | Leave a comment

New office chair and

I got tired of my back hurting all the time when I sat in my office chair. So I got this one:


Assembly was easy.

Workout notes weights plus an untimed 4 mile run with some yoga afterwards (10 minutes?)

I didn’t feel stable enough to try a head stand.

Run: Cornstalk classic to and from Markin; no stopwatch. I didn’t want to know.
Weights: rotator cuff.
Pull ups: 4 sets of 10
bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 180, 7 x 170
incline: 10 x 135
pull ups: 10
Super set: military (standing with 40 lb. dumbbells), row (machine, 110), pull down (machine, 140)
3 sets of 10 each.

We’ll see.

The run wasn’t as warm as I had anticipated.

Jeb! is running.


Here is my favorite Jeb Bush photo:


As Katherine Harris reminds us, it is white skirt/dress season:

(via: Danny is Back on Flickr) Click on the thumbnail to see on Flickr:




June 16, 2015 Posted by | big butts, butt, politics, politics/social, running, weight training | | Leave a comment

A good post about politicians (and why we elect the ones that we do…)

Workout notes: 3.3 mile “run” (4.2 classic cut short by skipping the last Parkside loop), quick meal then weights:

pull ups, 3 sets of 10, then 2 sets of 10 supersetted, rotator cuff
bench: 10 x 135, 2 x 180 (hip cramp), 8 x 160
military: 3 sets of 10 with 40 pound dumbbells (standing)
pull downs: 2 sets of 10 x 137.5, 10 x 130 different machine
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 55

When home and picked up debris from our recent storms (lots of small branches from trees; enough to fill a trash can.

Walking: from last week’s FANS 24 hour event:

median male runner: 68.4 miles (61)
median female runner: 67.9 miles (26)
median walker: 74.5 miles (13)

It was that kind of event. There were a LOT of tough walkers there.

This is a nice article about why we elect those that we do. Upshot:; we like affinity, we want to be told what we want to hear, and we overvalue confidence.

June 13, 2015 Posted by | political/social, running, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

Suffocating Environment

Workout notes: weights plus a 1 mile treadmill run, 1 mile track walk (14:30 in the middle lane); last night I did a 3 mile walk/jog with the group.

Weights: 5 sets of 10 pull ups (ok)
Rotator cuff rests.
incline bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 145, 10 x 135
superset: standing dumbbell military, machine row, machine pull down: 3 sets of 10 each:
40 pound dumbbells, 110 row, 130, then 150, 150 machine pull down.

Run: sort of out of energy.

Political Correctness
Let me get this straight: I do NOT want to go back to the bad days of overt racial and sexual discrimination. I’d take NOW over yesteryear any day of the week; for example it makes me feel good to see more women at mathematics conferences and more women mathematics graduate students. Things ARE getting better.

Yes, we still have a ways to go. For example: yes, I really appreciate seeing female runners in spandex but I NEVER say anything to them, unless they are already friends and have brought it on themselves by teasing me first. Unfortunately, well, I cringed when I read this.

But overall, things are better; the large number of women at races proves this (at my first marathon, male finishers outnumbered female finishers 11 to 1!)

But progress comes with hiccups.

First of all, check out what some comedians are saying about playing college campuses (here and here)

Here is what I think is going on: when one learns a concept, it is human nature to look to apply that concept everywhere (the old saying: “you were just given a hammer, so now everything looks like a nail”). Hey, if our students make blunders on exams, why wouldn’t they screw up other concepts as well?

There is also the desire for approval and a “feedback effect”. Liberals recognize it when conservatives do it, but we are prone to this as well. It is almost as if one gets “cred” for being able to ferret out subtle sexism, racism and so on.

And, sometimes we might be too quick to call for someone’s head when their “infraction” really doesn’t warrant it. For example: a Nobel Laureate scientists said some truly unfortunate things; what he said WAS offensive. But there are degrees of being offensive. So while I was amused (in a good way) at the eyerolling mockery that some other scientists responded with, I wonder if some confused malice with just general cluelessness on his part.

But hey, now is the chance to feel superior to someone who is genuinely world class!

June 11, 2015 Posted by | running, science, social/political, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Recovery …weights..

Workout notes: pull ups: 10, 2 x 5, 10 (rotator cuff)
bench: 10 x 135, 4 x 180, 10 x 160 (rotator cuff)
pull ups: 10, 5, 5
military: 3 sets of 10 x 40
super set: pull downs (130), row (110) with machine: 3 sets of 10

This went surprisingly well.

run: 2 miles on the treadmill: 10:50/9:08 (run, of course)

Later: I cut grass.

I still had some weird sleep; woke up early and couldn’t get back to sleep. I’ll probably fall asleep during the NBA game…again.

June 10, 2015 Posted by | running, weight training | Leave a comment

Just missed 200

Workout notes: 37 minute walk (random through the neighborhood and campus) and some light weights:

pull ups: 10, 10, 15
bench: 10 x 135, 1 x 185 (easy), BARELY MISSED with 200 (couldn’t quite lock out the left arm; spotter used one finger to balance things), 10 x 135
rotator cuff
2 x 10 of machine military (90 each arm), rows (110)

That’s it.

Getting tomorrow.

Last night: 3.4 miles with the group at 13:30 then dinner with Barbara, Lawrence, and his wife Lynn.

FANS 24 hour in 2007 (he got 70 miles)

Houston 24 hour in 2006 (the 24 hour participants; all but the guy on the extreme right are walkers)

June 5, 2015 Posted by | Friends, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment


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